People are dying from vaping. Governments are responding. It has created quite a mess. Well, it’s a mess if you vape. By the way, what do you call someone that vapes? A vaper?
Whatever they’re called, those that vape are being broadsided with new rules that affect them and affect those that sell vaping products.
The Trump administration wants to take all e-flavored cigarettes out of stores and is working on a document to provide guidance that will eventually ban all e-cigarettes except those flavored as if they were tobacco.
Governors from several states are enacting bans themselves.
While politicians all over the country are postulating and making all kinds of decisions on vaping, many companies like Walmart are taking those projects off their shelves. Consumers are panicked and many are in the process of hoarding flavored vaping products.
Companies producing flavored vaping products are howling.
So what do the people think? No one seems to be asking. At least no one until USA TODAY/Ipsos did a survey and asked. Here’s what they learned from 1,006 adults that includes 67 people that actually vape:
• The people strongly support the listing of all ingredients on product labels
• We strongly support the listing of all health risks on product labels
• We strongly support barring teenagers from buying electronic nicotine-delivery devices like e-cigarettes
• 80% think people under 21 should not be able to buy vaping devices or products
• As to setting more restrictions — we’re 50-50 on that one
• 52% favor a ban on flavored vape juices
• Just 20% of those that vape favor the flavor ban
• 63% of those 55 and over support a total vaping ban
• 33% of adults 18-34 favor a complete ban on vaping or at least on vaping flavors
What’s scary is that 59% of us think the bans of vaping being considered by the nation’s governors will drive more people to the black market and 82% said people will ignore the government edict and purchase from the non-regulated black market if an eventual ban is enacted.
Here’s the bottom-line, most in the survey say there isn’t enough research to make a decision, or say they don’t know whether vaping is safer than smoking tobacco products. With that, here is a look at some of the questions asked in the survey:
Do you support the following policies regarding vaping (ages ranging from 18 to 55+):
• Require listing ingredients and risks — 88%
• Prohibit purchase for those under 21 — 80%
• Implement FDA regulations for vaping — 79%
• Ban flavored vape juice — 52%
• Ban all vapes — 47%
What do, or did you and your or family members vape (age 18 to 55+):
• Nicotine e-liquid or juice — 46%
• Flavored e-liquid or juice — 40%
• THC e-liquid or juice — 21%
• Cannabis excluding THC e-liquid or juice — 16%
• Synthetic drug e-liquid or juice — 4%
• Don't know — 18%
Do you think vaping is safer than smoking traditional cigarettes (age 18 to 55+):
• Yes, vaping is safer — 11%
• They are equally safe — 9%
• No, cigarettes are safer — 13%
• There isn't enough research to decide — 47%
• Don't know — 19%
Governors in several of the nine PIA Western Alliance states have stepped in to work on flavored vaping bans. Here’s what they’re doing:
Washington — Governor Jay Inslee wants his state’s agencies to begin a ban not only on flavored vaping products but on cannabis-derived products. By the time you read this Inslee will have already asked the State Board of Health to use its authority to ban all flavored vaping products.
The board is expected to say yes.
Inslee also told the state Department of Health and the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board to ban the sale of any vaping product that is eventually identified as causing injury to lungs. He wants warning signs posted in stores selling e-cigarettes. Inslee also is looking at having the agencies force vaping product manufacturers to disclose the ingredients in their products.
The governor wants the Legislature to look at how to better regulate vaping and is going to insist on a permanent ban on favors.
“Everyone deserves to know what’s in these vaping liquids,” Inslee said.
Oregon — Governor Kate Brown has temporarily enacted a six-month ban on flavored products and has ordered state agencies to come up with a plan for warning labels, disclosure of ingredients, safety testing and with a plan to discourage vaping.
In her address on the issue, Brown said, “My first priority is to safeguard the health of all Oregonians. By keeping potentially unsafe products off of store shelves and out of the hands of Oregon’s children and youth, we prevent exposing more people to potentially dangerous chemical compounds and help lessen the chance of further tragedy for any other Oregon family.”
California — There is no ban in California on any vaping products but one might be coming. Meanwhile, Governor Gavin Newsom has allocated $20 million for a vaping awareness campaign and he wants to limit the sale of vaping products to anyone under age 21.
His order asks the California Department of Public Health to develop requirements to make retailers post warning signs about the dangers of vaping. He wants to ban flavors outright but needs approval of the Legislature to do that.
The other PIA Western Alliance states — Montana, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona and Alaska — do not have bans on flavors in place yet but there is lots of buzz going on and bans could come soon.
Meanwhile, back to the USA TODAY/Ipsos poll, 72% of those that vape said government regulations are not going to have much impact on the number of people vaping now and that will vape in the future.
Source links: USA TODAY, Reuters, OPB, Time, The Seattle Times